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Monday, April 28, 2014

Peacemaker by Marianne De Pierres

PEACEMAKER shows us a very different Australia, one in which nature exists only in a reserve and walled megacities are a way of life. There's not a lot of explanation about why the world has changed so much, though some information does dribble out over the course of the novel. On top of that, there's all sorts of genre blending in PEACEMAKER. There are elements of westerns, science fiction, procedurals, and urban fantasy. It's a heady mixture and De Pierres should be commended for taking the best elements of these genres and incorporating them into her story and world. There is also a strong supernatural component, though Virgin doesn't realize it at first, thinking that her totem, Aquila, is just an imaginary animal.  Because of all of these elements, the Peacemaker series mythology has some of the most original and interesting worldbuilding and I was completely sucked in.

Virgin is a ranger in Birrimun (Big) Park, one of the nature reserves I mentioned. Founded by her father, the park is supposed to preserve Australia's unique habitat and act as a tourist attraction in such a heavily industrialized and built-up world. Virgin’s job is to maintain public safety and order in the park so she's understandably upset when her bosses bring in outside help in the shape of Nate Sixkiller, an old-fashioned US lawman, who is ostensibly in Australia to deal with drug smuggling. Virgin is an interesting mix of confidence and insecurity and I quite liked her. She's got a brashness about her that's tempered by the fact that she's always worried that she's going crazy... Nate is more inscrutable and we don't get to know him as well.

There are a couple negatives to point out, though. I have to say, De Pierres does play into the whole taciturn Native American thing a bit more than I would like, and the representation of American accent is not ideal. Representation of non-White characters is really important to me and I felt like Nate was a bit of a caricature at certain points. The other thing is the protagonist's first name, which I really didn't like. Virgin just isn't a good name for a character. Virginia, yes, Virgin, no. It just doesn't work for me. In fact, I almost skipped the book entirely because I didn't like the name. Petty perhaps, but who doesn't pass on a book for something a bit superficial, like a bad cover, every once in a while?

There's at least one more book in the series, due out next summer, so this is only the beginning for Virgin and Nate. I'm curious to see how things will develop now that Virgin's eyes have been opened to the supernatural. I'd recommend PEACEMAKER to folks who likes cleverly blended genres and interesting worldbuilding, with the caveat that there are a few flaws in the novel.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

  1. I agree with you on the heroines name, I really don't like it. And such a mix of all kinds of genres, not sure if I would like that, although usually I like some gender mixing. I think I will wait for a book 2 review.
    Thanks for the review Jenn.

  2. Excellent post. I'm going through a few of these issues as well..

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